Your PCS requirements

Professional competence has two key components:

  • Continuing professional development (CPD)
  • Clinical audit

In order to comply with the requirements of the PCS, doctors are expected to accumulate 50 CPD credits on an annual basis and complete one clinical/practice audit per year.

PCS requires year-on-year compliance; there is no professional competence ‘cycle’ and no mechanism to ‘carry forward’ credits or competence from year to year.

CPD is measured in hours, therefore one hour of educational activity = 1 CPD credit.

The following represents a breakdown of the various CPD categories:

Category Example Credits
External (maintenance of knowledge and skills)
  • International/national meetings
  • Courses accredited by training body
  • College/society meetings
  • Medically related advanced degrees
  • Online courses
20 CPD credits per year minimum
Internal (practice evaluation and development)
  • Morbidity and mortality meetings
  • Hospital grand rounds
  • Structured multi-disciplinary meetings
  • Clinical audit meetings
  • Case presentations
20 CPD credits per year minimum
Personal learning
  • Self-directed education
  • Journal club
  • Reading journals, relevant online professional resources
  • Time spent studying for exam/diploma
5 CPD credits per year minimum
Research and training
  • Article publication
  • Poster presentation
  • Research examiner
  • Teaching/lecture
2 CPD credits per year minimum
Clinical audit/practice audit
  • Audit would be of an aspect of clinical practice such as outcomes from a procedure, compliance with guidelines or standards, or evaluation of processes.
1 per year

All activity for a particular PCS enrolment year must be undertaken between 1 May and 30 April. If you are completing an activity, such as an audit after 30 April, you should record it in the year that most of the clinical activity being audited was completed.

Contact us

If you require assistance or further information on PCS, please contact us at pcs@rcsi.ie or +353 (0) 1 402 2743.

Please note

You are responsible for determining your own professional development needs and identifying and participating in appropriate activities which should be relevant to your practice and support current skills and knowledge or career development. RCSI (and other training bodies) approve a wide range of activities every year and we maintain an online calendar of events which may assist in identifying suitable activities.

Where an activity has not been formally approved for CPD, it is your responsibility to record the activity, document the learning achieved and upload or retain evidence of having completed the activity. You should ensure that the range of CPD you undertake reflects you own practice and learning needs. Evidence of attendance at educational activities is required and should be uploaded into your PCS ePortfolio or a hard copy kept on file. If you are selected by RCSI for a verification audit, you will be required to produce this documentation. Records and evidence should be kept for six years. 

Creating a professional development plan (PDP) at the beginning of each PCS year encourages you to plan your activities during the year and set out goals for your personal development. It can also be used to reflect on and monitor your progress during the year.